Life is…


Happy birthday, my sweet little man! These 2 years with you have been the best of my life. Your daddy and I were blessed by God to be your parents, and I thank Him every day for bringing you to us.

I can’t explain what you mean to me, and I can’t imagine my life without you. You are the funniest, happiest (most of the time), most polite, energetic, smartest, ridiculously athletic 2 yr old I have ever met. You continue to amaze us every day. I soooo look forward to what the future holds for you! And I soooooo love being your mama!!

Donovan is not yet 2 and already he is using the potty like a pro.


Sort of.

This is what we have at home:


A little reading material (what bathroom is complete without it?) and the ever so important towel underneath.  At first, I only put this down because he didn’t like his little feet making contact with the cold tile floor.  Last night, I discovered a second function.  Pee-soaker-upper.  Little man sat to pee and it ended up coming out all over the place, including on my slippers.  He was so proud of himself for sitting on the potty, that I ignored the puddles on the floor and congratulated him anyways. THEN I grabbed the towels and cleaned up.

Then I was putting some clothes away, and Donovan was hanging around with no undies on.  The next minute I turn to look and he has taken a dump on the floor.  So I rushed him back to his potty. Why didn’t anyone tell us that potty training your kid is like house training a dog?!?!!!!?

Ok, so I’m more than thrilled he is using the potty, especially since just about everyone kept telling us not to even start trying… boys take longer to train than girls… wait till he’s 3, that’s when he will get it.  Blah blah blah.  Never underestimate the smartness of Donovan Wilson (except when he pees on the floor and the couch, of course).

Now if you’ll excuse me, there are some pee-soaked towels that need to get washed….


My last post was the beginning of December and now it’s February.  How did that happen?!  Time is flying by way to fast, and it’s hard for me to keep up!  I promise to be a better blogger.  But for now, here’s a little recap of what’s been going on:

Christmas was nice this year.  It was just the 3 of us and we enjoyed a quiet day opening presents, eating, and hanging out.  It was just what we all needed.  For new year’s eve, we went to our annual celebration spot for dinner, Asian Bistro.

Mmmmmm…. so yummy.

We’ve been passing the time doing crafts:

And baking:

And while Grant was on a road trip, Donovan and I got to visit my good friend Vivian in DC!  She is now expecting baby #2 (I’m guessing it will be a boy), and Donovan and Cairo had a great time getting reacquainted while us mommies chatted the weekend away.

(bookends minus the books, as my mom described this picture)

We also got a little tour of the absolute must-see spots–the White House:

The Lincoln Memorial:

Hey Lincoln, what’s up?

The WWII/Washington Monument:

And the new MLK Jr Monument:

Donovan loved having his picture taken here. This was the day before MLK day (very fitting) and there were tons of people trying to get their picture taken in front of the monument.  At one point, Donovan just stood there while strangers came right up to him to take their picture WITH HIM.  And of course being the ham that he is, he was soaking up and enjoying every second of it.  Being slightly weirded out that strangers wanted their picture with my son, but at the same time flattered because he IS that cute, I decided it was time to move on.

The weather was great.  Pretty cold, but the sun was shining and there wasn’t a cloud in the sky.

Of course the weekend flew by too quick and we had to say goodbye to our friends, but it was so nice to catch up.  And Donovan is such a great traveler.  The kid is happy as long as he’s napped and fed.  If those two things happen, he will go anywhere and everywhere with you without hesitation.  I love it.  And he was so excited to fly on an airplane (this was his first trip he could remember/know what’s happening) and he kept saying “airplane! airplane! fly high!” whenever we’d see one at the airport.

More recently, Grant had a Saturday afternoon off (rare these days) so we went bowling!  We were going to meet up with some friends and their little one, but Donovan decided to take a 3 hr nap that day.  So needless to say, we missed them at the bowling alley.  Donovan was so excited to get out there and bowl, but there were like 3 birthday parties going on and we had to wait 45 minutes for a lane to open up.  It was tough for him to watch all the other people bowling and he had to wait, but eventually he got up there and he did his thing!

Grant and Donovan also got to play outside a bit:

We also got a package in the mail from my mom, who has become quite the knitter:

Matching hats for the Wilsons?! What?! Love it!  She also knitted a little scarf for Donovan, but he’s not too sure about that accessory yet.

So far, that’s how our winter is going.  And from now on I’m blogging more often.  Promise.

After reading my friend, Deanna’s post, I decided I would post about my own mommy guilt.

I think as a mom, we try to be perfect.  Or at least we try to do it all.  We try to feed our kids all their fruits and vegetables at every meal; we try to keep them social and active by having play dates; we try to keep them from falling; keep them from crying; try to make sure they get plenty of attention from us, while also trying to give them the skills to play independently from us; we try to keep them from anything bad, damaging, or harmful.  We try to do all of these things all while trying to keep the house looking presentable, keep ourselves looking presentable, and giving the needed attention to not only our child(ren) but also our friends, ourselves, and our husbands.

The keyword in all of this?  Try.

We try to keep it all together and do everything we feel we are supposed to, but honestly (and I hope we can all agree on this) it doesn’t always happen.  At least not all in the same day.  I try to give Donovan enough fruits and veggies, but he can be a picky eater sometimes.  I’m ashamed to say, he might have one vegetable one day–or none–But then the next he will devour four cheese and spinach pasta sauce (with extra spinach I’ve added, to make up for the lost veggie days) and all will feel right in the world.

Lately, my mommy guilt is related to how much tv our child watches.  When I was pregnant, Grant and I would talk about what our baby would be like, the kind of person they would grow up to be, and what we would/wouldn’t let him/her do.  One of those things: our kid wasn’t going to watch tv until they were 4 or 5. And even then, they would only be allowed to watch the old-school “good” cartoons we had growing up (you know, Duck Tales, Chip n’ Dale’s Rescue Rangers) and sports.  I found Nick Jr to be a decent tv channel, and once I was searching for shows out of curiosity and came across Olivia and Little Bill.  Turns out Olivia has won Donovan’s heart.  We let him watch it once to see if it would be something we could put on for special occasions….

That’s been the beginning of the end….

He loves it so much that he completely zones out and gets sucked in like I’ve never seen.  Noticing this, I thought  ‘oh, I’ll let him watch one episode and I can cook dinner real quick without him hanging on me! I’m brilliant!’  After one episode ends, he asks for more. Well, one more is ok.  I’ll be able to unload the dishwasher without him trying to climb in, remove all the knives and go running through the house.

A good thing I’ve noticed about Olivia?  Donovan will tell me (in his own language) what is happening on the show.  He sees the mom picking up the baby and singing and Donovan will point to the tv and say, “Mama. Baby. Uppie. Mama. Sing.”  Maybe this is keeping me from completely getting rid of Olivia?

It’s the weekend.  I need a shower.  Grant’s at work.  Donovan has been all kinds of crazy.  “Wana watch Olivia?”  I’ve got him trained so that when he watches Olivia, he only sits on the blanket.  This keeps him from getting into things he shouldn’t when I’m in the shower.  When he’s around me, he’s never been particularly good at playing by himself.  Of course, I would love to be able to just sit him down with some play-doh or markers so he could do some artistic/mind-healthy activity while I’m showering or cooking, but he is constantly (still) putting those things into his mouth (!!!!).  So that’s a no-go.

And I feel guilty about letting him watch tv in the first place.  But after working all day, picking him up from daycare, we play for a little bit, but then I gotta get dinner together or squeeze in a quick run on the treadmill. And most nights, Grant is working until after 6 or even traveling, so I’m handling the end of the day stuff solo.  I honestly don’t know how else to do it now.

I’m trying to do it all, but realistically, I can’t.  I know I can’t.  So our new little helper Olivia is giving me a hand.  Good or bad, I’m letting my almost 2 yr old watch tv.

And even though I can’t always catch him when he falls, I am always there to make sure he is ok and can give him plenty of kisses to make it all better.  I think in the end that matters more than whether or not he ate his spinach, I got the laundry put away, or how much television he has watched in one day.  And I might always feel guilty about letting him watch tv so young, but it works for us right now.

Bragging side note: He loves watching sports and can tell the difference between soccer, football, basketball, hockey and baseball when they come on tv or he sees them in real life.  All of these sports have been part of his vocabulary for some time.  This not only makes his mommy happy, but especially daddy!  Oh, and he can do push ups…. for real…. not feeling guilty about that!

Wow, it’s been a few weeks since I’ve posted anything! First, I’d like to thank you readers for your crafty suggestions.  There were definitely some that we are going to take on. I see a fun winter headed our way! In terms of what we’ve been doing lately, I’ll just give you some snapshots of what our life has been like:

Pajama day at school–

Playing in the rain–

Attended our first birthday party (Simone turned 3!)–

Enjoying the Christmas decor at Costco–


Having snacks before bed–

Helping his dad at work–

Playing on the slide after an overnight rain shower–

Enjoying a new toy (this thing keeps him busy for a nice, long while!)–

Seriously, Donovan loves his new hoop so much, he threw a fit when he had to leave it to go to school the next morning.

So we’ve been keeping ourselves busy, and enjoying the fall.  Next up, Halloween! Donovan’s costume came in the mail and he tried it on. But when he did, he kept pulling on it, saying, “Help?” meaning: help me get this off.  Oy. Once the whole thing was on him, I kept encouraging him, telling him he looked so cute, and even walked him over to our full length mirror so he could see himself. He still wanted to take it off. Let’s hope come Monday, he’ll manage to keep it on….

Oh, Donovan!


I’m oh-so happy to report: being one week post-op, my smell and taste is 100% back!

I’m getting reacquainted with life–oh, ya! That’s what my shampoo smells like! The scent of fresh cookies baking.  Realizing I probably should’ve changed out the dish cloth in the kitchen a couple days ago because it had gone sour.  Eating my favorite pasta sauce.  Grant’s smell of Dove soap, Eternity cologne, and deodorant all mixed together.  I’m even loving the smell of poopy diapers.  That’s how grateful I am to feel like a normal human being again.  I’m enjoying the smell of poo.

I had an appointment with my surgeon this week, where he took out the packing.  It was so strange–I could breathe out of my nose since the surgery, even though I had all this stuff up there!  My doctor put some liquid numbing agent up my nose and stuck these long, skinny pliers in and pulled out about an inch and a half, L-shaped foam-like packing.  I didn’t feel any pain.  Then, he told me he would numb me up a little more to get the gauze that was up in between my eyebrows.  UH?  WHAT?!  I asked him, “I thought that was supposed to dissolve.”  He said most of it probably was, but he wanted to get out what hadn’t so I wouldn’t develop any scar tissue in that area.  Crap.  Again, this was a strange feeling.  It didn’t really hurt, which was kind of surreal since I knew how far he was poking around up in my nose. I mean BETWEEN MY EYEBROWS!???!!!  I just felt a lot of pressure and after a minute or so, out came two little pieces of gauze.  And it was over.

So needless to say, I’m thoroughly enjoying life right now.  Granted, I’m eating like a crazy person.  I think I’m still in the mindset that I could lose my smell and taste at any moment, and to savor as much as I can to try to remember what everything tastes like.  I’m constantly sniffing Donovan, something I’m sure he’s sick of already.  My speaking voice is back to normal.  No more stuffiness.  My singing voice is clearer–a huge relief.  And yes, I’m already thinking ahead to the next time I get pregnant (whenever that will be) and dreading of going through developing nasal polyps all over again.  But my surgeon is fairly confident that with this new steroid nasal rinse I’ll be using twice a day (unfortunately for-who-knows-how-long…forever?) will help keep them at bay.  And if it doesn’t, I would have the surgery again in a heartbeat.

Yup. Totally worth it.  Poo smells and all.

Friday was a big day.  I had outpatient surgery to get my nasal polyps removed. Those of you who have been following my blog know that my struggles with a constant stuffy nose and occasional loss of smell and taste started during my 2nd trimester, now just about 2 yrs ago.  My ob-gyn chalked it up to being recurring sinus infections, although it turns out, after a trip to the ear, nose and throat specialist, I developed nasal polyps–extra tissue growing in my sinuses.  The tissue blocks certain receptors, preventing me from smelling and tasting.  After rounds of medications, endless nasal sprays, and none of it working, it was recommended I have them surgically removed.  For sure, this couldn’t be the answer!  I was bummed that this is what it would come down to.  So after 6 months or so, I decided it was time after realizing all that I was missing: smelling my baby after a bath, tasting food at a new restaurant, the smell of Grant and his cologne, and even Donovan’s poopy diapers.  I would be walking outside with friends and they would say, “oooh, someone’s grilling burgers,” or “those waffle cones smell good,” or even, “yuck, what is that smell?”  I missed all of those simple things.  I was kind of going through life oblivious.  Sure, I can see, feel, and hear, but imagine going through life without your smell and taste.  Frustrating.  So I decided to have the surgery.

It started Friday, going through the morning having to not eat anything.  I was struggling because my surgery wasn’t until 12:30 pm.  I was nervous.  Grant was working, so I checked in and got settled.

Nothing like a pair of XL socks to make a woman feel sexy while in a tie-in-the-back gown.  And even though I went into surgery 2 1/2 hours later than scheduled, I woke up with no bandages on my face and not feeling terribly awful.  Until I sat up.  My head hurt, my nose started bleeding, and I wanted to go home and lay in bed.  Grant and Donovan came to get me and so began my new routine of bandages, sprays, and meds.

My doctor spoke to me before they wheeled me into the O.R. He looked at my CT scan they did a couple weeks ago to see exactly where the polyps were.  Apparently, they were in my entire sinus cavity–up my nose, under my eyes, and even up towards my eyebrows.  Yikes!

Saturday morning, I woke up.

No bruising, not much bleeding and overall, feeling somewhat ok.  And so far, I’m thinking that if this happens the next time I get pregnant, I will go through the surgery again.  My post-op appointment is Wednesday.  I can’t wait. The gauze comes out and I’ll be able to blow my nose–something I’ve been dying to do since Friday afternoon!  In the meantime, I’m enjoying a gift from my mom:

And I’m enjoying my smell and taste slowly coming back.  Yup, so far definitely worth the surgery.

As if there’s any other kind at our house, right?  Here are some videos to show you what he’s been up to.  Hope you enjoyed your 3 day weekend!


A couple weeks ago, the Wilson family road tripped it down to New York City.  It was our last summer adventure, and it we had a great time.

Day #1

We loaded up the car, had The Help on cd for the ride–can’t wait to see the movie–and got to somewhere outside of Albany before stopping for lunch.  We found a McDonald’s that had an indoor play area for: Donovan to get his pent up energy out, to realize that I didn’t pack the Pack and Play (the bed our child was to sleep in!!!) and a place for me to puke.  Car sickness.  One of the many things I’ve never really had until getting pregnant (man, having a baby REALLY changes everything).  The rest of the trip, I had Dramamine in hand, especially since we were staying at a cute B&B in Staten Island and were to take the ferry over to NYC every day. I wanted to be prepared.

We pulled up to this B&B and when the owner answered the door she said, “oh, I don’t allow children.”  WHAT?!?!?!  “When I booked through Expedia,” I said “they told me you waved the $40 per day per child fee.”  She said, “I never talked to Expedia; they never called me or emailed me…. but you’re already here so come on in.”  Phew.  Crisis averted.  She went on to tell us how un-baby proofed the place was and how a previous guest’s child pulled an antique lamp down on their head, and that she was NOT liable for any injuries or damages Donovan may cause.  “Don’t worry, he’ll be with us the entire time,” we kept saying.  Fast forward to the end of the trip–she was playing with Donovan at breakfast.  He won her over quick.  Oh! And she had an extra Pack and Play that a previous European guest left because they didn’t want to keep hauling back and forth whenever they came to visit!  Next up, going to the City… lots of pictures…

Day #2

Taking the ferry over to Manhattan

The second we step off the ferry, Donovan says “Wooooaaaaahhh!  Woooooaaaaahhhh!”  It was hilarious.  We think he was amazed at all the people, the bright lights and the fact that there was so much to see!

It was a beautiful, hot summer day. First stop, Central Park.

They have a big playground on the south end and Donovan immediately made himself at home.

Did I mention it was hot?

They have a 100 year old carousel and since Donovan loved riding the one in Salem when we were there, this was a must.

Next, we were getting hungry and wanted to find some pizza (gotta have pizza when you go to NYC right?)  Donovan must have been starving because he ate almost a whole piece by himself!

Serious business.

The pizza joint we went to was right off 5th Avenue, so we made a stop in FAO Schwartz.  Not only was Donovan impressed (Wooooaaaaahhhh!) but so were we!  I’m still a kid at heart, I have to say. They have the worlds biggest gummie bear, a huge candy station–which only made me think of you, Amber, my candy-aholic friend–and a Build-a-Muppet station.  Cool!  So many fun toys, for the very young and old.  It’s at this store that they filmed that famous scene in the movie Big where Tom Hanks dances on the giant piano.  Donovan LOVED that. He was in heaven hopping around with the other kids, making noise, and even decided to hold the hand of a girl.

After this Donovan finally succumbed to his sleepiness and conked out in the stroller.  Grant and I took this opportunity to do some window shopping on 5th Avenue: Tiffany’s, Nike… more was in our plans, but little man woke up.

So we went to Times Square.

So much to see!  Then we ventured over to Ground Zero, which was pretty moving.

“Dedicated to those who fell and to those who carry on.” “We will never forget.”

Coming up on the 10th anniversary and being in this spot, you can’t help but go back to that day, remembering where you were, how you felt, and thinking about how the many ways it has changed our lives since that day.  Incredible.

Next we found a place to eat dinner and got caught in the worst wind I’ve ever experienced in my life on the walk back to the ferry.  Holy crap.  We were only a block from the terminal, but we had to take “cover” between two buses that could block the wind for us.  Grant was holding Donovan and I had all our stuff in the stroller.  I ended up putting my sunglasses on, just so dirt and garbage (which was flying through the air) didn’t get in my eyes and I could see.  I felt like we were in the Wizard of Oz.  It was SO WINDY!!! Boxes were flying by, plastic bags, it was nuts.  Finally there was a break in the wind and we made a mad dash to the ferry–along with hundreds of other people.  Just as we stepped on, the torrential downpour started. We got back to the B&B utterly exhausted, but planning what was in store for the next day.

Day #3

Taking the ferry to Manhattan, to catch the subway to Coney Island and Brooklyn.

Another hot, sunny day!

Coney Island = hot dogs = Nathan’s Hot Dogs.  Chili cheese dog, french fries, and Orange-ade (a mix between orange juice and lemonade).  This is where they have the annual hot dog eating contest on the 4th of July.

We hung out at the beach.  It was so hot!

Funny, the sunbathers didn’t move, even when you got really close to them.  They must be used to crowds.  If it was me and there was a 16 month old kid running around close by, I’d be making sure he didn’t hit me with his ball or run onto my blanket or something…. but maybe that’s just me.

We visited Prospect Park in Brooklyn, which has a small zoo in it’s Children’s Corner.  So many kid friendly places to go to in NY!

We were starting to wear down, so we thought we’d try eating dinner at a place my friend, Sarah, reccommended: Basta Pasta.  A Japanese/Italian fusion restaurant.  It was Saturday evening and I thought they’d be booked for sure, but I called at 5 pm for a 6:15 reservation and we got a table! Woop woop!  Grant said the Cesar dressing was one of the top 3 he’s ever had in his life. Hint: with Grant, that is the test of a good restaurant.  Good Cesar dressing.  After dinner, we tried finding a place for cheesecake for dessert, but our GPS was not showing us the right directions, so we said forget it, and took the ferry home.  Which was 45 min late.  Then we docked and thought the parking garage where we kept our car that day was closed, so we took the city bus back to the B&B.  Arrived at midnight.

Day #4

Taking a taxi to the parking garage to pick up our car, only to find the garage WAS open by the time we docked.  Ugh!  They really should update their hours on their web site!  We packed and took our time driving home, listening to The Help and enjoying every minute of it.  Donovan is such a good traveler, he slept a lot on the way home, but even when he was antsy and wanting to get out of his car seat,  he was very patient when we would tell him we would be home soon (which was still an hour away), only having one breakdown which required me to sit with him in the backseat to keep him occupied.  Poor guy.  But he made it and so did we!  What an exhaustingly, wonderful, long weekend!!!

A few days later, we felt the earthquake that was centered in Virginia.  I was sitting in my office and thought I was swaying.  And I was, but it was because the earth was moving.  I looked at the water on my desk and it was moving side to side.  It was so strange.

Then the next week, we were preparing to get hit hard by hurricane Irene.  We got some water, bought some groceries, had the candles ready (since every store was out of batteries for our flashlights), did laundry, and bought Donovan some shoes.  Ok, that last one wasn’t really a “hurricane prep”, but the kid has outgrown his sneakers, so we bought him a new pair, and his first pair of boots.

Grant was very proud.  Now they can match!

Donovan also wanted to ride the little carousel at the mall.  Check him out, driving already!

We got hit with the storm, but not nearly as bad as the people further south of us in Vermont. We didn’t even lose power, thank God, but others got slammed.

The last few weeks have been quite a ride!  You should get over to NYC if you’ve never been. It’s pretty amazing. Grant and I want to go back without the little one so we can do more adult things–go to a broadway show, maybe a museum, Ellis Island, experience the nightlife.  Have you ever been to NYC? What was your favorite thing you did? What didn’t you get to do that you wish you could have?

7:21 am

7:28 am

7:43 am

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3:50 pm

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7:28 pm

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Thanks for checking out my “Week in the Life.”


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